With four games left in the Bundesliga season we’re getting down to crunch time:
Borussia Mönchengladbach (Fabian Johnson - Out) v Wolfsburg (John Anthony Brooks - Out) - 2:30p on FS2
The week starts out with a real fizzle as Fabian Johnson and John Anthony Brooks both look to be out for this weekends match-up. Borussia Monchengladbach comes into the match six points out of the Europa League qualifying 6th spot while Wolfsburg are tied on points for the playoff relegation spot. It seems likely that we won’t see Brooks again this year but it would be good to see Wolfsburg avoid relegation and keep the Centerback in the Bundesliga for 2018-19.
Eintracht Frankfurt (Timothy Chandler) v Hertha Berlin - 9:30a on FS2
Eintracht Frankfurt are a club headed in the wrong direction as they’ve now fallen to 7th place behind Hoffenheim and out of European Competition qualifying. The two teams are level on points but Hoffenheim have a strong goal differential advantage.
With one of the most difficult remaining schedules including games against Bayern Munich and Schalke, this game could be considered a must-win for Frankfurt if they’re going to see some European competition next season.
Timothy Chandler came on in the 70th minute of last weekends game against fellow top six competitors Bayer Leverkusen when the game was tied 1-1. Unfortunately, the team promptly game up a hat trick to Kevin Volland and lost 4-1. Chandler was then left on the bench for Frankfurt’s midweek German Cup win over Schalke.
Borussia Dortmund (Christian Pulisic) v Bayer Leverkusen - 12:30p on FS1
A second straight top-four match-up for Borussia Dortmund after losing last weeks Revierderby at Shalke. This week they’ll be at home to take on 3rd place Bayer Leverkusen who last weekend handled Frankfurt 4-1 and then got stomped midweek by Bayern Munich in the German Cup semifinals. The two teams are tied on points with Leverkusen holding a narrow goal differential advantage. The two teams sit four points ahead of RB Leipzig who also have an advantageous schedule down the stretch.
Christian Pulisic has established himself as a regular, starting each of BVB’s last 5 games. It remains to be seen how the team will adjust their approach with Michy Batshuayi sideline for the remainder of the year.
New York Red Bulls v Chicago Fire - 3:30p on Univision
Tyler Adams and the New York Red Bulls host the Chicago Fire this weekend coming off a 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact. Now that they have been bounced from the Concacaf Champions League the Red Bulls will likely turn to a more consistent lineup with Adams regularly featuring (he has started 2 of their 5 league games thus far and appeared in a third).
Köln v Schalke 04 (Weston McKennie) - 12:00p on FS2
This week should be a manageable one for Schalke as they travel to take on last place FC Cologne. Having said that Schalke managed to lose just to weeks ago against Hamburger SV by a score of 3-2, somehow giving up three goals to a team that previously had scored only 20 goals in 28 games!
Shalke will also be looking to rebound from their midweek loss to Frankfurt, 1-0 in the German Cup Semifinals. Weston McKennie was an unused substitute in the midweek game but did come on in the 71st minute last weekend and drew a foul to set up Schalke’s second goal. Schalke sit eight points ahead of fifth place and have a very manageable stretch run so there may be opportunities for the youngster to see additional playing time.
Seattle Sounders v Minnesota United - 4:00p on ESPN
Clint Dempsey returns from suspension this week for a Seattle team that drew 2-2 with Sporting Kansas City last weekend. Dempsey had been suspended an additional game following his red card for elbowing Jacori Hayes. Cristian Roldan will also see time for Seattle and will look to build on his goalscoring performance against SKC. Cristian was also joined by his brother Alex, who received his first start last weekend.
Meanwhile, Minnesota United have lost three straight games and will look to get things turned around against a Seattle team still looking for it’s first win. Miguel Ibarra will likely get the start for Minnesota, having started four of their first six (and appearing in all six) but the winger is still looking for his first goal on the season.
Portland Timbers v New York City FC - 6:00p on FS1
It’s been a rough start to the season for the Pacific Northwest with the Portland Timbers finally picking up their first win last weekend. As a reward they’ll get to take on league leaders NYCFC. 19-year-old Left Back Marco Farfan saw all of one minute last week but that was one more minute than any NYCFC USMNT hopefuls.